Cheez Whiz stole the chicks.  Like, she literally, stole the chicks right out from under their mother, Josephine.

Recap. 2 months ago I got some fertilized eggs and put them under my chicken Josephine because Josephine wanted to be a mother more than anything.  How did I know this?  She told me so and also she started knitting baby blankets.

2 or 3 weeks after the chicks were born the normally ornery Cheez Whiz, decided those chicks should be hers.  I don’t know how long she had been planning her chicknapping but it all went down late one night when they were all going to bed.  And yes.  It was a chicknapping, not a kidnapping.  Kidnapping is what happens when someone steals a baby goat.

Once chicks get to a certain age their mother will teach them how to roost.  Roosting is when the chicken jumps up on a stick, branch or piece of wood to go to sleep.  They do it because their natural instinct is to get up into a tree away from night predators like fox and weasels. Well, Josephine tried to teach these chicks to roost a little earlier than Cheez Whiz thought she should have.  Cheez Whiz didn’t think the chicks were ready to roost yet.

So when Josephine jumped up onto the roost and started calling the chicks to jump up on the roost with her, Cheez Whiz jumped OFF of the roost, plunked herself down in the straw and started calling the chicks to come to her. Non stop. She called and she called and she called and she spread he wings out so the chicks would have an inviting, safe bed to slump into complete with a feather blanket to wrap around them.

And one by one the little chicks all abandoned their mother who was calling them from high up on the scary roost, and went to Cheez Whiz.


I tried placing the chicks on the roost with their mother, but they just jumped back down and scrambled on top of Cheez Whiz.  Her back seemed to be about as high as any of them cared to venture.

And that was it. The transition had begun.  The chicks now had two mothers; Cheez Whiz and Josephine. The lesbihens.

In the weeks that followed one of them proved they were born to be a mother.
Gay, straight, adopted or biological.  Family is family.  Just ask a chicken.



  1. Marion Gibson says:

    I reread this post periodically. The first time was the day it was posted a few days after I came home following total knee surgery. I have never laughed so hard and I forwarded it to all my friends. Yeah, I had oxy for the pain but this post was better!

  2. Leslie Best says:

    LESBIHENS!! I haven’t laughed that hard in a long long time. Thanks for a great read and watch Karen. Classic!!

  3. Auntiepatch says:

    You go, Cheese Whiz! That Faux Jo doesn’t have the mommy gene.

  4. Tracy says:

    Karen, you are just fulfilling motherhood dreams, one hen at a time over there!! ;)

  5. Dale says:

    Eight fertilized chicken eggs—– $?
    One brood hen for hatching them—–$?
    Two lesbihens————Priceless!!!!!!!

  6. Lynn Wallrath says:

    Best. post. ever.



  7. Sheryl says:

    I’m not sure which is funnier, the blog or the comments. Or the misspellings of lesbihens in the comments. Karen, now you’ve gone and set the bar high for blog humour. Keep it coming.

  8. Benjamin says:

    I’m just glad you don’t have a rooster named Caitlyn… omg I can only guess what kind diva drama would happen, and who would fluff up their breasts bigger and be the mom then? LOL

  9. Janelle says:


  10. Janelle says:

    Lesbihens…made wine come out of my nose, for reals. And yet, I’d do it again, it was that funny. In fact, I think I will do it again, after even more win. It’ll be even funnier then, if that’s possible.

  11. Kathy Houk says:

    Knitting the baby blanket is what got me, just the idea of it made me laugh. My dog will stare at me so intensely to convey what shes’s got going on (and not just at feeding time) and I try to guess right because if I do she’s certainly happy. I am amazed at the thought that went into the chicknapping. What a surprise. Glad you were able to observe what was going on and then let us in on it.

  12. Liz says:

    I just love this snippets you give out of the chickens lives – thanks for the smile of the day!

  13. Mindy says:

    Oh my gosh, sweetest thing ever.

  14. Elaine says:

    LOVE Lesbihens!! ? I had trouble pulling up the video but tried again and am glad I did. To see the rust hen (Cheez Whiz) give the food to the chicks is absolutely amazing!! Thank you!

  15. Jackie says:

    I think Josephine’s mad because all her chicks abandoned her for Cheez Whiz & that’s why she steals their food. If she doesn’t stay mad maybe both can mother & teach the chicks. Love the “lesbihens”. Karen you have out done yourself with this post. Love it. Thanks for being you.

  16. Allison says:

    And now I want some chickens even more than I did before!

  17. kari says:

    That’s so hilarious, and interesting, and hilarious!

  18. Allison says:

    Aunty Cheez is busy spoiling the chicks. She doesn’t appear to want to give them back after spoiling them though!

  19. Darla says:

    It never fails to amaze me how your twisted brain can come up with all these comical situations and sayings!!

  20. Karen, you and your crew of readers/followers are so punny, it is killin’ me.

    I read your post, then the comments, loved each of them, laughed, drank coffee then went back and read them all one more time … and I am still laughing.

    Where else would I find such an absolutely wonderful assortment of highly intelligent, witty individuals … and I don’t mean the chickens.

  21. Jennifer says:

    Oh my goodness! This one is too funny, Karen! What a sweet story too.

  22. Nancy Sanderson says:

    I’m so glad chicknapping happens to other people too! This is our mixed race same sex couple busy co-parenting.

  23. Gretchen Sexton says:

    Best morning story!!
    Lesbihens–wins the prize!
    So amazing that Josephine just had a lapse of memory…

  24. Melissa in NC says:

    The lesbihens…this can only come from you Karen. Too funny!!!

  25. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    This is so funny..and educational..I had no idea hens would do such a thing to each

  26. Mary W says:

    Love this story! Now when the chicks are older, you will have to get her a couple eggs of her own. I had a calico cat that gave birth to 5 kittens. She was a horrible mother. The dogs let the kittens sleep with them since Mom wasn’t doing it. Then our other stray (just fixed) got interested and started protecting the kittens. She gathered them together with her and they proceeded to nurse. Of course, she didn’t have any milk but that didn’t stop her from mothering them. Then she got milk! I was shocked but evidently the nursing caused her to begin lactation. Animals are very surprising and such a wonderful thing to have around and notice. Did you see the clicker training that worked on a rescue chicken that was on youtube by The Humane Society of United States? So smart these chickens! Please let Cheez Whiz have a couple eggs – wonder if she would raise a turkey?

  27. Brilliant post! I could swear it sounded like Cheez Whiz offered you a clucky Thank You at the end of that video!
    Our girls didn’t decide to get up onto their roosting bars until they were 8 weeks old, probably because they didn’t have anyone to show them that they were supposed to do that.

  28. Mary Michelle says:

    Loved the video!!! You are the funniest and most interesting blogger in blogdom.

  29. maggie van sickle says:

    Bahaha not every one is born to be a mother not even in the chicken world. Good job Cheese Whiz.

  30. Danell says:

    Oh my goodness that is something else! I needed a good laugh this morning. My husband has tried to convince me, over the years that chickens would provide us this kind of entertainment. But in the entertainment realm 6 children/not kids ;-) , have been plenty!

  31. Terri J. says:

    Your posts are great…from both a humorous and sociological point of view!!

  32. Maureen Locke says:

    Lesbihens… bwahahahaha. Genius and then I almost lost it again with the kidnapping…. I never suspected the word ‘goat’ to be in there… girl, you’re batting 1000 here. lol Thanks for the morning chuckle and the adorable video. Love that Cheez Whiz has her brood…. she’ my favourite. :)

  33. Bambi Mayer says:

    Funniest post EVER!!! You have outdone yourself, Karen–thank you for the laughs!

  34. MrsChris SA says:

    Aw man – that is so sweet!!!

    Lesbihens – my new favourite word!!

    Missed your post on Monday btw!

  35. Isabella says:

    Lezbihens. You are a word goddess. Little ingrate chicks, going off with the first warm hug of wanna be mom. But how lovely for Cheez Whiz, at last a fulfilling roll. Is her crankiness gone now? Does this make you a grandmother?

  36. Grammy says:

    Have you ever tried to get your kids to feed themselves, learn to walk, sleep in a “big kid” bed, dress themselves? They all whine and lie back and say things like, “you do it” when they feel like being babied longer than you know is good for them. So, Josephine was trying to teach the little imps to begin taking care of themselves and Cheez Whiz swooped in and stole them so she could keep them dependent. I think maybe we disagree over who the bad mom is here.

    • Gayle'' says:

      A bad case of “henabling”

      • Dale says:

        Ha Ha… very punny! But then, 2/3rds of a pun is PU!

        Will social services come in and adjudicate this family matter?

        Will Josephine file for a restraining order for Cheez Whiz to cease and desist?

        Stay tuned for the next episode of “Heneral Hospital”

  37. Barbie says:

    ” lesbihens” that’s awesome! hahahahaha!

  38. Wisconsin Gal says:

    Looks like Josephine is an aristocrathen. She can say she has kids, but the nanny raises them.

  39. Gayle'' says:

    And there it was. Just as I was opening your email. I was thinking, “I wonder how the chicks are doing ?”

    I’m sure that the chicks will be fine. There have to be a gazillion lesbehin families out there. Right? It’s just another form of blended families. But I would keep an eye on Josephine. The loss could scar her chicken psyche irreparably. Chicken esteem can be tricky. But then, what do I know. I am just a city girl living an almost country life. (That is living in the suburb contiguous to the country. )

  40. Jennie Lee says:

    I laughed so hard at “lesbihens”, my side hurt. No wonder the chicks jumped ship; Cheez Whiz is really showing Josephine up. It’s so cute that the chicks still peep like chicks, even though they’re growing up. How long before they cluck, instead?

  41. judy says:

    Makes me worry for the Chickens. You might decide you’re King Solomon and 86 the selfish Mommy that didn’t care enough…It’s late and I may be half asleep. Wish I could sleep. Why can’t I sleep?

  42. Catherine Naulin says:

    Oh man, what a great story! Thanks for the chuckles Karen! Empty nest, I can relate, do you think hens like their grand chickens (if they live to see them)?
    That is an excellent remedy for empty nest syndrome.
    Love LOVE your posts!

  43. Grammy says:

    Josephine didn’t agree to any of this. Does she need an attorney? Cheez Whiz has to cease and desist. No wonder chickens peck each other to death, if that’s what passes for okay behavior in the dorm rooms.

  44. vicki says:

    just like that?! the chicks left their mother???
    those little chicken shits!! lol.

  45. Marlene says:

    Oh my goodness! I should know by now not to read your postings late at night…here I am trying not to wake my husband with my laughter! ????

  46. Laura Bee says:

    Bahaha! Awesome. I love your girls.

  47. TucsonPatty says:

    That cracked me up, also! Lesbihens! You are too funny! I can’t wait to see the video?
    Chicknapping and baby goats. Too funny! Cheez Whiz is being a very helicopter mom. Josephine just wanted her babies to spread their wings and fly, and damn the torpedoes.

  48. Paula says:

    The lesbihens! LOL Good one.

  49. Carole Larose says:

    Lesbihens!!!!!!!! HA! You woke my husband!!!

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